Rita A.'s Story
Rita A. Bonanno, 83, of Methuen, passed away on May 25. She was the oldest sister of a large and loving Italian-American family of 12 immediate members, and hundreds of others who were either related by blood or love.
Rita was predeceased by her parents, Rocco and Amelia Bonanno; brothers, sisters-in-law, and brother-in-law, Rocco and Maria Bonanno, Clemente and Anna Bonanno, Elaine Bonanno, Mildred Bonanno, Mary-Ann Bonanno and Thomas Frascone.
Rita is survived by her sisters and brothers-in-law, Barbara Frascone-Bonanno, Eileen and Larry Giordano, Camille and William Hitchmoth, Michael Bonanno, Charlie Bonanno, Robert Bonanno, and William and Dorothy Bonanno. Rita is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
She had a large social life and will be greatly missed by a group affectionately known as “The Broads,” women who were former colleagues, but became lifelong friends.
She was known to so many simply as, “Auntie Rita." She lived a life filled with family, friends, food, and laughter. She loved telling jokes and connecting with people. She resided in the original family home built on a farm in Methuen. Rita lived on the aptly named Bonanno Court near much of her family and loved giving out cookies and candies to the continuously expanding younger generations where Rita was a part of their daily life. You knew she was nearby if you heard the sound of her car horn or in later years by the wave of her flag.
Rita attended Searles High School and was trained as a dietician at the Essex Agricultural and Technical School. She began her career at the Nevins Nursing Home and the Clover Hill Hospital; however, she spent most of her career serving the youth of Methuen as she ran the cafeteria at Methuen High School for over 30 years. Never idle, Rita also worked part-time at Messina’s Market in North Andover, and in her retirement she worked at Elder Services.
Rita was an active and memorable member of many organizations including Quota International of Lawrence, the Methuen Retirees Association, and the Saint Claire League of Catholic Women. She was also a lifelong member of faith at St. Lucy Church in Methuen.
Auntie Rita will be missed by those who loved and knew her as the bridge between two generations, handing down traditions, the Italian language and what it meant to be family.
The family requests in lieu of flowers donations may be made to either the Methuen High School Scholarship Fund or the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend visiting hours on Tuesday, May 30, 2017, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Cataudella Funeral Home, 126 Pleasant Valley St., Methuen. Her funeral mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 31, 2017, at St. Lucy Church, 254 Merrimack St., Methuen. Burial will follow at Immaculate Conception Cemetery, Lawrence. For directions or to send condolences please visit www.cataudellafh.com.
Published on  May 28, 2017